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Visa bets on blockchain in 2021 with USDC partnership

Photo of: Joseph Stone
by Joseph Stone

The giant of bank cards, Visa, has joined forces with Circle, the issuer of the USDC stable coin or USD Coin. This partnership will enable the introduction of credit cards for sending and receiving payments in USDC.

The stablecoin USD Coin is on a roll these last few months. Since October, the crypto is compatible with four official blockchains, including Ethereum and Solana. This should enable it to further increase the capitalization of the USDC, which is flirting with the 3 billion dollars.

To democratize its use, its transmitter Circle also relies on a partnership with a global payment giant. This partner is Visa, a leading player in bank cards. The objective is to make USDC transactions compatible with certain credit cards.

And these maps should be available as early as 2021. Circle must first meet all the conditions of the Visa Fast Track program. That will “probably be next year,” says Visa’s crypto director Cuy Sheffield.

Next, Visa will issue a credit card that will allow companies to send and receive USDC payments directly from any company using the card, he told Forbes. Credit cards that allow crypto payments are not new, however.

But for the stablecoin, it will be a first, though. “It will be the first corporate card that will allow businesses to spend a USDC balance,” the Visa framework insists.

This partnership is not only a development opportunity for the stablecoin. It also supports Visa’s growth in the cryptocurrencies sector. Earlier this week, Visa signed an agreement with BlockFi.

This agreement will give rise to a credit card entitling the holder to Bitcoin Reward Points (BTC). But Visa is also welcoming a growing number of wallet providers into its Fast Track program. There are now 25 of them.

“We continue to view Visa as a network of networks (…) Blockchain networks and stable corners, such as USDC stable coins, are just additional networks. So we believe that Visa can bring significant value to our customers by allowing them to access and spend at our merchants,” said Cuy Sheffield.